HMAS Pirie mercy dash
2 November 2015
A rapid response by HMAS Pirie’s crew may have saved the life of a crew member onboard an Australian fishing vessel.
The Armidale Class Patrol Boat was conducting border protection operations when the ship responded to an urgent call for assistance from Bigge Island in the Kimberley region.
It is believed the Darwin resident was stung by a highly venomous Box Jellyfish, (Chironex fleckeri) while recovering nets.
HMAS Pirie’s medical team went aboard the fishing vessel to assess the patient, who was in severe pain.
The ship's medics had a satellite telephone consultation with Navy medical specialists, who concluded that the patient needed to be evacuated.
The location was beyond range for an aero-medical evacuation, so HMAS Pirie transported the patient to Darwin at top speed while the ship's medics provided treatment to the patient during the 16 hour transit.
The patient was handed over to St John Ambulance staff at Darwin Naval base early Sunday morning for a quick transport to Darwin hospital.
The Master of the 'Four Seasons' expressed his sincere thanks to HMAS Pirie personnel and Navy for their prompt and professional response.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Pirie, Lieutenant Commander Phil Draper, said providing assistance to personnel in the Australian maritime environment was all in a day’s work for Navy.
“My crew and I are pleased to have been able to assist,” he said.
The patient was so impressed with the conduct of Pirie's crew that he expressed interest in joining the Navy, and is looking forward to visiting HMAS Pirie again in the coming week for a ship tour and a chance to meet with the crew.
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